Author: Dr. Cheryl Cottle
How do you maintain a balance in your life? What are some things that you engage in to keep your body, mind and spirit in tune with your well-being?
Blending your work and your personal life includes taking care of your children and being there for your spouse or husband as well as maintaining relationship with other members in your family requires that you almost have to be a “super mom” but it can be achieved by using a few simple steps that these women have used in their life.
Finding balance between work, self and family is often a difficult feat for most women entrepreneurs, particularly those with a family. I have spoken with many women entrepreneurs who noted that their most creative and productive time is when their children are at school or when they are asleep. During the time when they are at home, as the parent you have to be involved in their home work, preparing dinner, over seeing their baths, reading them a bed time story, tucking them into bed; just a few things that you have to do.
I interviewed several women on this challenging issue, and it is their responses that I will share with you. The women selected include women from Canada, USA, Caribbean, and India. As women entrepreneurs, regardless of our culture, and place of origins, finding a balance between family, personal life and work is very important to the survival of your business, your family and a healthy you. For the purpose of this paper, pseudonyms have given to them to hide their true identity.
Chistine: My work is one of my big passions so I work fairly hard, but I like to have a balance. I frequently take time out for myself to enjoy nature and the great outdoors. I also love cooking, laughter and heartfelt connection with friends and family, archery which is good for focusing, swimming and meditation.
Dana: Dana notes that to find balance, I make a to-do- list and structure my time to get things done when my children are at school. I also work at nights while my children are are in bed and I will work hard before a vacation so when I’m away I can focus on family time.
Roma: Roma notes that I make time for my business as well as my family and in that way I find a balance between work and other facets of my life: by finding a working balance between my work and personal life.
Eileen: I believe that to be successful and efficient in business, there should be balance in both my personal and business lives. I believe that one should be “balanced and centered and that you should take time-out to do that and at the same time, you should have fun.” This is her personal and business philosophy.
Yvonne: I designate a Weekly Family Night with my two sons and my husband. It is now a tradition that I have created. We use one night in the week to have a Family Night. It can involve watching a movie that is age appropriate for my boys will enjoy. We can also make that night an Art Night where every one draws a piece of art work. I modify my schedule and write it into my agenda. I believe that as a woman, I can own a business, but I am also a mother, daughter, wife, and friend, and all of my roles are important to my success.
Lily: Because I work at my home office, I see to it that I have at least a day off in my busy workweek. I keep myself fit by going to a health and fitness gym early in the morning. It makes me feel good before I start my daily routine. I also catch up with close friends at least once a week to make sure I still have a life beyond the four walls of my workspace. My favorite would have to be spending time with my mom during Sundays. Aside from these, I enjoy reading one of my clients’ blog. Her articles about love and life give me a relief whenever I need it. Recharging during weekends allows me to clear my mind off things and come up with fresh ideas so I can be of better service to my clients.
Rosemary: I am nourished with quiet time, prayer and meditation, great books and wonderful vacations that expose me to other cultures.” “What is on my calendar gets done; therefore, I schedule time for me – my family and friends. The first part of the day is mine. Without good spiritual, mental and physical health, nothing else works for me. To make sure it is not simply rhetoric that is what I focus on first every day. Some days I take more time than others but it is a must every single day. It is now a habit but it is still on my calendar."
I hope that the strategies that these women share on how they are able to find or create a balance in their busy lives and maybe, you to can find a balance in your life. Some of the strategies used are also very cost effective but the results are unmeasurable and invaluable.